Team

Leadership Team
Natalie Gochnour, M.S.
Associate Dean and Director

Natalie Gochnour, M.S.

Associate Dean and Director

Natalie Gochnour serves as an associate dean in the David Eccles School of Business and director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah. She also serves as the chief economist for the Salt Lake Chamber. In these roles she helps connect the Eccles School with the broader business community and shares applied economic and business research.

Gochnour’s experience includes a diverse mix of public service and business experience. During her public service she advised Utah governors Norm Bangerter, Mike Leavitt and Olene Walker. She also served as a political appointee in the George W. Bush administration, serving as an associate administrator at the EPA and deputy to the secretary at Health and Human Services. For seven years she led the public policy endeavors of the Salt Lake Chamber. Gochnour writes regular columns for Utah Business magazine and the Deseret News.

In 2012, Gochnour was the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award for business from the YWCA Salt Lake City. She has also been honored by Wasatch Women magazine as the “Wasatch Women of the Year,” an honor bestowed to women in the community who elevate the stature of women and serve the community good. Gochnour serves on the Salt Lake City International Airport Board, Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation Board and Primary Children’s Medical Center Board. She is a gubernatorial appointee to the Governor’s Economic Development Council and vice-chair of Envision Utah, one of the nation’s most successful quality growth partnerships.

Gochnour has both an undergraduate and master’s degree in economics from the University of Utah. She also teaches Public Finance for the Economics Department.

Natalie Gochnour serves as an associate dean in the David Eccles School of Business and director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah. She also serves as the chief economist for the Salt Lake Chamber. In these roles she helps connect the Eccles School with the broader business community and shares applied economic and business research.

Gochnour’s experience includes a diverse mix of public service and business experience. During her public service she advised Utah governors Norm Bangerter, Mike Leavitt and Olene Walker. She also served as a political appointee in the George W. Bush administration, serving as an associate administrator at the EPA and deputy to the secretary at Health and Human Services. For seven years she led the public policy endeavors of the Salt Lake Chamber. Gochnour writes regular columns for Utah Business magazine and the Deseret News.

In 2012, Gochnour was the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award for business from the YWCA Salt Lake City. She has also been honored by Wasatch Women magazine as the “Wasatch Women of the Year,” an honor bestowed to women in the community who elevate the stature of women and serve the community good. Gochnour serves on the Salt Lake City International Airport Board, Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation Board and Primary Children’s Medical Center Board. She is a gubernatorial appointee to the Governor’s Economic Development Council and vice-chair of Envision Utah, one of the nation’s most successful quality growth partnerships.

Gochnour has both an undergraduate and master’s degree in economics from the University of Utah. She also teaches Public Finance for the Economics Department.

 

Jennifer Robinson, Ph.D.
Associate Director

Jennifer Robinson, Ph.D.

Associate Director
jennifer.robinson@utah.edu

Phone: 801-581-3009

Jennifer Robinson is the associate director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. With a solid commitment to both scholarship and practice, Dr. Robinson works to ensure that research contributes to informed public policy.

In addition to her administrative duties, Dr. Robinson leads research projects on a variety of topics utilizing both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Notable recent projects include a three-state study evaluating the satisfaction of online services available through state government websites, an employee satisfaction survey for the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and studies on the economic value of vocational rehabilitation for the state of Utah. She has served for 10 years on the University of Utah Veteran’s Day Committee, is a member of the Salt Lake Chamber’s Capitol Club, and serves on the St. Paul’s Preschool’s Board of Directors. In 2014, Governor Herbert appointed Dr. Robinson to the Utah Women in the Economy Commission.

Dr. Robinson is the co-author of two books: “Native Vote: American Indians, the Voting Rights Act, and the Right to Vote (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and “The Rise of the West in Presidential Elections” (University of Utah 2010). Dr. Robinson is also the published author of numerous book chapters and journal articles on voting rights, legal issues in higher education, and public administration.

Dr. Robinson earned her B.S. in Political Science, Master of Public Administration, and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Utah. In 2014 she was invited to participate in the National Security Strategy Seminar at the U.S. Army War College and received a Certificate of Leader Development. Prior to her work at the University of Utah Dr. Robinson worked for the Utah House of Representatives.

Jennifer Robinson is the associate director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. With a solid commitment to both scholarship and practice, Dr. Robinson works to ensure that research contributes to informed public policy.

In addition to her administrative duties, Dr. Robinson leads research projects on a variety of topics utilizing both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Notable recent projects include a three-state study evaluating the satisfaction of online services available through state government websites, an employee satisfaction survey for the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and studies on the economic value of vocational rehabilitation for the state of Utah. She has served for 10 years on the University of Utah Veteran’s Day Committee, is a member of the Salt Lake Chamber’s Capitol Club, and serves on the St. Paul’s Preschool’s Board of Directors. In 2014, Governor Herbert appointed Dr. Robinson to the Utah Women in the Economy Commission.

Dr. Robinson is the co-author of two books: “Native Vote: American Indians, the Voting Rights Act, and the Right to Vote (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and “The Rise of the West in Presidential Elections” (University of Utah 2010). Dr. Robinson is also the published author of numerous book chapters and journal articles on voting rights, legal issues in higher education, and public administration.

Dr. Robinson earned her B.S. in Political Science, Master of Public Administration, and PhD in Political Science from the University of Utah. In 2014 she was invited to participate in the National Security Strategy Seminar at the U.S. Army War College and received a Certificate of Leader Development. Prior to her work at the University of Utah Dr. Robinson worked for the Utah House of Representatives.

James A. Wood
Ivory-Boyer Senior Fellow

James A. Wood

Ivory-Boyer Senior Fellow
jim.wood@utah.edu

 801-581-7165

James Wood is the Ivory-Boyer Senior Fellow at the Policy Institute. He specializes in several research areas including housing, construction, real estate, and economic development.

Mr. Wood has published over 100 articles and studies related to the Utah economy. This includes housing markets, community development, regional economics, and economic development. Mr. Wood has conducted numerous studies on local housing market conditions, and was the principal investigator on a sustainable communities grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He was also the principal investigator on a two-year cost-benefit study of homeless participants in Utah’s Housing First Program. For 15 years, Mr. Wood directed a BEBR contract with the State of Utah for economic development research, which included the completion of thirteen industry-specific studies including Utah’s aerospace, natural resource, machinery and electronics industries, and the machinery industry.

Mr. Wood is a member of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, and serves on the board of the Salt Lake Home Builders Association, the Salt Lake County Housing Trust Fund, NeighborWorks Salt Lake and is a member of the State of Utah Revenue Assumptions Working Group.

A graduate of the University of Utah with a B.S. in finance and four years of graduate study in economics, Mr. Wood joined the business school in 1975 and spent over 25 years as a researcher and senior research analyst. He served as director of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research from 2002 to 2015.

 

James Wood is the Ivory-Boyer Senior Fellow at the Policy Institute. He specializes in several research areas including housing, construction, real estate, and economic development.

Mr. Wood has published over 100 articles and studies related to the Utah economy. This includes housing markets, community development, regional economics, and economic development. Mr. Wood has conducted numerous studies on local housing market conditions, and was the principal investigator on a sustainable communities grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He was also the principal investigator on a two-year cost-benefit study of homeless participants in Utah’s Housing First Program. For 15 years, Mr. Wood directed a BEBR contract with the State of Utah for economic development research, which included the completion of thirteen industry-specific studies including Utah’s aerospace, natural resource, machinery and electronics industries, and the machinery industry.

Mr. Wood is a member of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, and serves on the board of the Salt Lake Home Builders Association, the Salt Lake County Housing Trust Fund, NeighborWorks Salt Lake and is a member of the State of Utah Revenue Assumptions Working Group.

A graduate of the University of Utah with a B.S. in finance and four years of graduate study in economics, Mr. Wood joined the business school in 1975 and spent over 25 years as a researcher and senior research analyst. He served as director of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research from 2002 to 2015.

Shelley Kruger
Accounting and Finance Manager

Shelley Kruger

Accounting and Finance Manager

Ms. Kruger is the administrative program coordinator and handles administrative matters regarding the day-to-day operations for the Gardner Institute. She oversees the financial accounts, prepares income statement and financial reports, monitors budgets and expenditures, and assists in developing the annual budget. She also coordinates details such a personnel actions, purchasing, departmental records, and changes in university policies.

Colleen Larson, B.S.
Administrative Manager

Colleen Larson, B.S.

Administrative Manager

Colleen Larson is the administrative manager for the Policy Institute, providing administrative support for the institute’s leadership team. In this role she will be managing scheduling and official travel, and coordinating events and meetings.  Ms. Larson acts as a liaison between the Policy Institute, the community, and the campus to ensure continuity and quality of service.

Ms. Larson also serves as the treasurer of the Economic Club of Utah, overseeing its financial management, marketing, events, and daily operations. She earned her B.S. in psychology from Brigham Young University, focusing on research studies. Her prior work experience includes serving as an executive assistant in the Dean’s Office for the David Eccles School of Business, coordinating clinical research studies and managing a law firm.

Colleen Larson is the administrative manager for the Policy Institute, providing administrative support for the institute’s leadership team. In this role she will be managing scheduling and official travel, and coordinating events and meetings.  Ms. Larson acts as a liaison between the Policy Institute, the community, and the campus to ensure continuity and quality of service.

Ms. Larson also serves as the treasurer of the Economic Club of Utah, overseeing its financial management, marketing, events, and daily operations. She earned her B.S. in psychology from Brigham Young University, focusing on research studies. Her prior work experience includes serving as an executive assistant in the Dean’s Office for the David Eccles School of Business, coordinating clinical research studies and managing a law firm.

Dianne Meppen, B.S.
Director of Survey Research

Dianne Meppen, B.S.

Director of Survey Research

Dianne Meppen is the director of Survey Research at The Policy Institute, specializing in aspects of survey research: client relations, establishing research objectives, developing research strategies, formulating concise and understandable survey instruments, overseeing data collection, evaluating data results, and presenting key findings and insights to clients.

Recently Ms. Meppen has led research projects evaluating employee satisfaction in the Department of Workforce services that included a survey of more 1,300 employees and focus groups throughout the state with employees. In 2014, she completed surveys of businesses in Utah, Arkansas, Indiana, and Kansas examining their satisfaction and use of services available through state government websites. Ms. Meppen is frequently a guest instructor in graduate courses on survey research at the University of Utah.

Ms. Meppen has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Utah State University and more than 30 years of experience in the survey industry. Prior to joining the University of Utah she worked as the research director at Dan Jones & Associates collaborating with a diverse set of clients to conduct high quality survey research.

Dianne Meppen is the director of Survey Research at The Policy Institute, specializing in aspects of survey research: client relations, establishing research objectives, developing research strategies, formulating concise and understandable survey instruments, overseeing data collection, evaluating data results, and presenting key findings and insights to clients.

Recently Ms. Meppen has led research projects evaluating employee satisfaction in the Department of Workforce services that included a survey of more 1,300 employees and focus groups throughout the state with employees. In 2014, she completed surveys of businesses in Utah, Arkansas, Indiana, and Kansas examining their satisfaction and use of services available through state government websites. Ms. Meppen is frequently a guest instructor in graduate courses on survey research at the University of Utah.

Ms. Meppen has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Utah State University and more than 30 years of experience in the survey industry. Prior to joining the University of Utah she worked as the research director at Dan Jones & Associates collaborating with a diverse set of clients to conduct high quality survey research.

Pamela S. Perlich, Ph.D.
Director of Demographic Research

Pamela S. Perlich, Ph.D.

Director of Demographic Research
pam.perlich@utah.edu

 801-581-3358

Pamela Perlich, Ph.D. is the director of demographic research at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah where she leads the newly formed DemographyUTAH team. In this role, she and her team are responsible for developing and producing population estimates and projections, neighborhood indicators, and demographic analyses focusing on Utah. In addition, the DemographyUTAH team is responsible for the Utah State Data Center, a program affiliated with the U.S. Census Bureau that is responsible for the dissemination and interpretation of demographic and socioeconomic data, including recently released and historical.

Formerly, she worked as a senior research economist with the Bureau of Economic and Business Research, which has recently merged into the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Prior to joining BEBR, she worked in the Utah Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, concentrating on long run economic and demographic projections. Although trained as an economist, she applies a multidisciplinary approach to develop data, modeling, and analysis that identifies ongoing demographic, economic and cultural transformations. The focus of her work is to illuminate these trends and the associated implications for the future, especially as they impact Utah. Her work highlights the great diversity in our communities and how these change over time.

She is highly effective in communicating these ideas to a broad nontechnical audience, including everyday people as well as community leaders. She has received awards for teaching, publication, and public service. Her work in the community includes frequent speaking engagements for civic, education, governmental, corporate, and professional organizations. She often serves as a resource to the press, providing the Utah context for broader events. Pamela serves on numerous boards and commissions.

Dr. Perlich received her B.S. in both economics and business from the University of Tulsa and her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Utah. Prior to joining the University of Utah in 2000, Dr. Perlich worked for seven years in the Utah Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, concentrating on long run economic and demographic trends. Before this, she taught for seven years at Tulsa Community College.

Pamela Perlich, Ph.D. is the director of demographic research at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah where she leads the newly formed DemographyUTAH team. In this role, she and her team are responsible for developing and producing population estimates and projections, neighborhood indicators, and demographic analyses focusing on Utah. In addition, the DemographyUTAH team is responsible for the Utah State Data Center, a program affiliated with the U.S. Census Bureau that is responsible for the dissemination and interpretation of demographic and socioeconomic data, including recently released and historical.

Formerly, she worked as a senior research economist with the Bureau of Economic and Business Research, which has recently merged into the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Prior to joining BEBR, she worked in the Utah Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, concentrating on long run economic and demographic projections. Although trained as an economist, she applies a multidisciplinary approach to develop data, modeling, and analysis that identifies ongoing demographic, economic and cultural transformations. The focus of her work is to illuminate these trends and the associated implications for the future, especially as they impact Utah. Her work highlights the great diversity in our communities and how these change over time.

She is highly effective in communicating these ideas to a broad nontechnical audience, including everyday people as well as community leaders. She has received awards for teaching, publication, and public service. Her work in the community includes frequent speaking engagements for civic, education, governmental, corporate, and professional organizations. She often serves as a resource to the press, providing the Utah context for broader events. Pamela serves on numerous boards and commissions.

Dr. Perlich has received awards for teaching, publication, and public service. Her work in the community includes frequent speaking engagements for civic, education, governmental, corporate, and professional organizations. She often serves as a resource to the press, providing the Utah context for broader events. Pamela chairs the DemographyUTAH Population Committee, and is a member of the Envision Utah Steering Committee. She is also a member of the YWCA’s advisory Committee on the Utah Women’s Well-Being Initiative. She serves on Governor Herbert’s Education Excellence Commission as well as his Women’s College Task Force. She is also on the Advisory Board of Zions Bank Women’s Financial Group.

Dr. Perlich received her B.S. in both Economics and Business from the University of Tulsa and her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Utah. Prior to joining the University of Utah in 2000, Dr. Perlich worked for seven years in the Utah Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, concentrating on long run economic and demographic trends. Before this, she taught for seven years at Tulsa Community College.

Juliette Tennert, M.A.
Director of Economics and Public Policy

Juliette Tennert, M.A.

Director of Economics and Public Policy

Juliette Tennert is the director of economic and public policy research at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, specializing in Utah’s economy, economic forecasting and modeling, fiscal policy analysis, and economic impact studies.

Ms. Tennert oversees a staff of economists and analysts who study the Utah economy and public policy issues that impact the state.  Her most recent work includes state revenue forecasting, labor force analysis, housing and construction research, and international trade data analysis.

Before joining the Eccles School, Ms. Tennert served as the state budget director and chief economist for Governor Gary Herbert, chief economist for Governor Jon Huntsman, and as a fiscal analyst for the Utah State Legislature.  Prior to her state service, Tennert was a research analyst for the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).

Ms. Tennert holds a master’s degree in economics from UNLV and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago.  She is also an adjunct instructor of public budgeting and finance in the University of Utah’s Master of Public Administration program and has been honored as one of Utah Business Magazine’s annual “30 Women to Watch.”

Juliette Tennert is the director of economic and public policy research at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, specializing in Utah’s economy, economic forecasting and modeling, fiscal policy analysis, and economic impact studies.

Ms. Tennert oversees a staff of economists and analysts who study the Utah economy and public policy issues that impact the state.  Her most recent work includes state revenue forecasting, labor force analysis, housing and construction research, and international trade data analysis.

Before joining the Eccles School, Ms. Tennert served as the state budget director and chief economist for Governor Gary Herbert, chief economist for Governor Jon Huntsman, and as a fiscal analyst for the Utah State Legislature.  Prior to her state service, Tennert was a research analyst for the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).

Ms. Tennert holds a master’s degree in economics from UNLV and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago.  She is also an adjunct instructor of public budgeting and finance in the University of Utah’s Master of Public Administration program and has been honored as one of Utah Business Magazine’s annual “30 Women to Watch.”

Faculty Advisors
Matthew J. Burbank, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Political Science

Matthew J. Burbank, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Political Science

Matthew Burbank is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science where he serves as the department’s director of undergraduate studies and the honors advisor for political science. Professor Burbank teaches undergraduate courses on American government, voting, elections, public opinion, political parties, and political analysis as well as graduate courses on political behavior, quantitative methods, and research design. Professor Burbank’s research focuses on how citizens understand and participate in politics as well as urban politics and public policy.

Professor Burbank has co-authored two books, Parties, Interest Groups, and Political Campaigns (2nd ed., Oxford University Press, 2012) and Olympic Dreams: The Impact of Mega-events on Local Politics (Lynne Rienner, 2001), as well as a number of journal articles and book chapters. His most recent works have been on such topics as public opinion on complex policy issues, how community attachment influences voting on public school vouchers, and electoral support for the Conservative Party in Britain.

Professor Burbank earned his B.A. in political science from the University of Montana, his M.S. in political science from the University of Utah, and his Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In addition to research and teaching, Professor Burbank serves as the University of Utah’s official representative for the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) and has served as a reviewer for the Fulbright Award program, the National Science Foundation, and the Economic and Social Research Council in the United Kingdom.

Matthew Burbank is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science where he serves as the department’s director of undergraduate studies and the honors advisor for political science. Professor Burbank teaches undergraduate courses on American government, voting, elections, public opinion, political parties, and political analysis as well as graduate courses on political behavior, quantitative methods, and research design. Professor Burbank’s research focuses on how citizens understand and participate in politics as well as urban politics and public policy.

Professor Burbank has co-authored two books, Parties, Interest Groups, and Political Campaigns (2nd ed., Oxford University Press, 2012) and Olympic Dreams: The Impact of Mega-events on Local Politics (Lynne Rienner, 2001), as well as a number of journal articles and book chapters. His most recent works have been on such topics as public opinion on complex policy issues, how community attachment influences voting on public school vouchers, and electoral support for the Conservative Party in Britain.

Professor Burbank earned his B.A. in political science from the University of Montana, his M.S. in political science from the University of Utah, and his Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In addition to research and teaching, Professor Burbank serves as the University of Utah’s official representative for the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) and has served as a reviewer for the Fulbright Award program, the National Science Foundation, and the Economic and Social Research Council in the United Kingdom.

Adam Meirowitz, Ph.D.
Professor, Finance Department

Adam Meirowitz, Ph.D.

Professor, Finance Department

Adam Meirowitz is a professor of finance with the David Eccles School of Business and serves as faculty advisor to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. His research interests include the use of game theoretic and quantitative methods to study collective decision-making and political institutions. Current research projects include: the study of bargaining and investing, limiting equilibria in voting games, arms sales and conflict, and vote-buying.

Dr. Meirowitz earned his B.A. in Political Science and Economics and M.S. in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Rochester, as well as his A.M. in Economics and Ph.D. in Political Economics, both from Stanford University.

Prior to joining the Eccles School, Dr. Meirowitz served as a professor at Princeton University.

Adam Meirowitz is a professor of finance with the David Eccles School of Business and serves as faculty advisor to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. His research interests include the use of game theoretic and quantitative methods to study collective decision-making and political institutions. Current research projects include: the study of bargaining and investing, limiting equilibria in voting games, arms sales and conflict, and vote-buying.

Dr. Meirowitz earned his B.A. in Political Science and Economics and M.S. in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Rochester, as well as his A.M. in Economics and Ph.D. in Political Economics, both from Stanford University.

Prior to joining the Eccles School, Dr. Meirowitz served as a professor at Princeton University.

Professional Staff
Tamanna Badhan
Graduate Assistant

Tamanna Badhan

Graduate Assistant

Tamanna Badhan is a graduate assistant working on applied research projects with a focus on quantitative methods.

Ms. Badhan’s work focuses on the evaluation component of the ASPIRE (Achieving Success by Promoting Readiness for Education and Employment) project, an experimental design study funded by the US Department of Education.  The goal of ASPIRE is to increase youth recipients of SSI and their family’s overall household income, and thereby reduce the household’s dependence upon public benefits, by increased educational attainment and increased career achievement.   ASPIRE’s formative evaluation team at the University of Utah is analyzing the impact of the study. Ms. Badhan assists the project evaluation team with data analysis and other administrative work.

Ms. Badhan graduated with a bachelor’s degree from North South University, Bangladesh, where she studied economics and finance. She is currently completing her master’s in economics at the University of Utah.

Tamanna Badhan is a graduate assistant working on applied research projects with a focus on quantitative methods.

Ms. Badhan’s work focuses on the evaluation component of the ASPIRE (Achieving Success by Promoting Readiness for Education and Employment) project, an experimental design study funded by the US Department of Education.  The goal of ASPIRE is to increase youth recipients of SSI and their family’s overall household income, and thereby reduce the household’s dependence upon public benefits, by increased educational attainment and increased career achievement.   ASPIRE’s formative evaluation team at the University of Utah is analyzing the impact of the study. Ms. Badhan assists the project evaluation team with data analysis and other administrative work.

Ms. Badhan graduated with a bachelor’s degree from North South University, Bangladesh, where she studied economics and finance. She is currently completing her master’s in economics at the University of Utah.

Samantha W. Ball, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Samantha W. Ball, Ph.D.

Research Associate

Samantha W. Ball is a research associate at the Policy Institute where she provides research, analysis, facilitation, and instruction on a range of subjects including deliberative democracy, leadership, and health and human service programs.

Dr. Ball is involved in advancing informed non-partisan public deliberation on policy issues through the Policy Institute’s role as a Kettering Foundation Center for Public Life. Dr. Ball is also an instructor for the LeadNOW adaptive leadership training, which provides participants with skills and strategies to become leaders in their organizations and communities. Her work with informed public deliberation builds upon her published research on the potential impact of educational and deliberative forums on public opinion and policy-making. Previous Policy Institute work has focused on Utah State health and human service needs such as a process evaluation for the Healthy Child Care Initiative; a five-year strategic plan for the Utah Department of Health Immunization Program; school, health system, and environmental policy agendas for Utah Department of Health’s asthma program; and an analysis of diabetes reporting on death certificates.

Dr. Ball holds a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA, a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Utah.  Prior to working at the Policy Institute, Dr. Ball worked in Washington DC as a Congressional legislative assistant, a program analyst and the Department of Education and at the Department of Health and Human Services.  She is also an adjunct instructor in Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Utah.

Samantha W. Ball is a research associate at the Policy Institute where she provides research, analysis, facilitation, and instruction on a range of subjects including deliberative democracy, leadership, and health and human service programs.

Dr. Ball is involved in advancing informed non-partisan public deliberation on policy issues through the Policy Institute’s role as a Kettering Foundation Center for Public Life. Dr. Ball is also an instructor for the LeadNOW adaptive leadership training, which provides participants with skills and strategies to become leaders in their organizations and communities. Her work with informed public deliberation builds upon her published research on the potential impact of educational and deliberative forums on public opinion and policy-making. Previous Policy Institute work has focused on Utah State health and human service needs such as a process evaluation for the Healthy Child Care Initiative; a five-year strategic plan for the Utah Department of Health Immunization Program; school, health system, and environmental policy agendas for Utah Department of Health’s asthma program; and an analysis of diabetes reporting on death certificates.

Dr. Ball holds a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA, a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Utah.  Prior to working at the Policy Institute, Dr. Ball worked in Washington DC as a Congressional legislative assistant, a program analyst and the Department of Education and at the Department of Health and Human Services.  She is also an adjunct instructor in Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Utah.

DJ Benway, Jr., M.P.P.
Research Analyst

DJ Benway, Jr., M.P.P.

Research Analyst
d.benway@utah.edu

801-581-6334

David “DJ” Benway is a research analyst, working in economic and higher education policy. Mr. Benway provides statistical and economic analyses for various research projects, including the Regional Analysis of Impediments & Fair Housing Equity Assessment for the Wasatch Front, An Analysis of a Transfer of Federal Lands to the State of Utah, Characteristics of Wasatch Front Public Schools, and the Utah Construction Information Database. He assists on Convention Visitors Bureau impact surveys, the Salt Lake County Consortium Strategic Plan, and other projects focused on economic and education data in Utah.

In addition to his research work, Mr. Benway works with the Utah Community Data Project, providing social media support and assisting with the design, development, and management of UCDP’s website. This includes search engine optimization, analytic information and analysis, mailing list management, information dissemination through weekly UCDP highlights including Weave Wednesdays and UCDP’s Fun Fact Friday, both of which are weekly features data on various levels of Utah communities from the Utah Community Database. Mr. Benway has presented his work at various conferences and has drafted several working papers for publication.

Mr. Benway earned a B.A. in Economics and a B.F.A. in Film Production, both from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Utah.

David “DJ” Benway is a research analyst, working in economic and higher education policy. Mr. Benway provides statistical and economic analyses for various research projects, including the Regional Analysis of Impediments & Fair Housing Equity Assessment for the Wasatch Front, An Analysis of a Transfer of Federal Lands to the State of Utah, Characteristics of Wasatch Front Public Schools, and the Utah Construction Information Database. He assists on Convention Visitors Bureau impact surveys, the Salt Lake County Consortium Strategic Plan, and other projects focused on economic and education data in Utah.

In addition to his research work, Mr. Benway works with the Utah Community Data Project, providing social media support and assisting with the design, development, and management of UCDP’s website. This includes search engine optimization, analytic information and analysis, mailing list management, information dissemination through weekly UCDP highlights including Weave Wednesdays and UCDP’s Fun Fact Friday, both of which are weekly features data on various levels of Utah communities from the Utah Community Database. Mr. Benway has presented his work at various conferences and has drafted several working papers for publication.

Mr. Benway earned a B.A. in Economics and a B.F.A. in Film Production, both from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Utah.

Anna Bergevin, M.P.P.
Research Associate

Anna Bergevin, M.P.P.

Research Associate

Anna Bergevin is a research associate with experience in policy research and analysis, needs assessment, survey research, data management, quantitative methods, and demographics.

Ms. Bergevin has recently worked on a number of research projects including an employee survey at the Department of Workforce Services, a needs assessment tool revision at the Division of Services for People with Disabilities, and a policy memo on women in Utah for the Utah Women in the Economy Commission. She is the co-author of, “Administrative DREAM Acts: Examining State Higher Education Governing Board Policies Regarding In-State Tuition for Undocumented Immigrant Students” in the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal and is currently in the process of submitting for publication “Combatting Cytomegalorius: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of a Utah Public Health Initiative.”

Ms. Bergevin earned her B.A. in political science at Brigham Young University, completed graduate studies in political science at Ohio State University, and earned her Master of Public Policy with a Graduate Certificate in Demography at the University of Utah. Prior to joining the University of Utah Ms. Bergevin worked as project manager at the AidData Research & Innovation Lab.

Ms. Bergevin earned her B.A. in political science at Brigham Young University, completed graduate studies in political science at Ohio State University, and earned her Master of Public Policy with a Graduate Certificate in Demography at the University of Utah. Prior to joining the University of Utah Ms. Bergevin worked as project manager at the AidData Research & Innovation Lab.

Cathy Chambless, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate

Cathy Chambless, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate

Cathy Chambless is a senior research associate working on applied research projects that include needs assessment, program planning, and program evaluation.

Recent projects include designing and testing a new needs assessment tool for the Division of Services for People with Disabilities, contributing to the ASPIRE (Achieving Success by Promoting Readiness for Education and Employment) project as an evaluation team member, acting as a senior site liaison for the implementation team for four states on the BOND (Benefit Offset National Demonstration) project, and reviewing and summarizing literature for the National Council on Disability on effective strategies to increase employment for SSDI and SSI beneficiaries.

Dr. Chambless received her B.A. in Sociology from Santa Clara University, a Master in Educational Psychology from the University of Utah, and Master of Public Administration from the University of Utah. She completed her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy at the University of Utah, writing her dissertation on the relationship between natural supports and social integration in supported employment. In addition to her research work, Dr. Chambless also co-directs the Disabilities Studies Graduate Certificate Program and teaches in the MPA program. Prior to working at the University of Utah Dr. Chambless worked in management for the Utah Department of Health, the Utah Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, and the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation.

Dr. Chambless received her B.A. in Sociology from Santa Clara University, a Master in Educational Psychology from the University of Utah, and Master of Public Administration from the University of Utah. She completed her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy at the University of Utah, writing her dissertation on the relationship between natural supports and social integration in supported employment. In addition to her research work, Dr. Chambless also co-directs the Disabilities Studies Graduate Certificate Program and teaches in the MPA program. Prior to working at the University of Utah Dr. Chambless worked in management for the Utah Department of Health, the Utah Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, and the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation.

Marin Christensen, B.S.
Graduate Assistant

Marin Christensen, B.S.

Graduate Assistant

Marin Christensen is a graduate assistant at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, currently working towards a master’s degree in human development and social policy at the University of Utah.

Ms. Christensen’s academic career has focused on needs assessment, policy research and analysis, field and survey research, and program evaluation of social policy issues such as child care and early childhood education, workplace leave policies, working women, race and policy, and overdose prevention. Recent projects include interviewing Utah district attorneys to assess the overdose prevention efforts of Utah’s Good Samaritan Law, surveying Utah women regarding their participation in the economy, surveying convention participants for economic impact analyses of visitors to Salt Lake County, and analyzing focus group data of local business and community leaders regarding election topics for the Policy Institute’s Informed Decisions project.

Marin earned a B.S. in consumer and community studies and a B.S. human development and family studies, both from the University of Utah.

Marin Christensen is a graduate assistant at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, currently working towards a master’s degree in human development and social policy at the University of Utah.

Ms. Christensen’s academic career has focused on needs assessment, policy research and analysis, field and survey research, and program evaluation of social policy issues such as child care and early childhood education, workplace leave policies, working women, race and policy, and overdose prevention. Recent projects include interviewing Utah district attorneys to assess the overdose prevention efforts of Utah’s Good Samaritan Law, surveying Utah women regarding their participation in the economy, surveying convention participants for economic impact analyses of visitors to Salt Lake County, and analyzing focus group data of local business and community leaders regarding election topics for the Policy Institute’s Informed Decisions project.

Marin earned a B.S. in consumer and community studies and a B.S. human development and family studies, both from the University of Utah.

John C. Downen, M.A.
Senior Research Analyst

John C. Downen, M.A.

Senior Research Analyst

John Downen serves as a senior research analyst, conducting local and regional economic studies and spatial analysis.

Mr. Downen’s recent projects include an analysis of a transfer of federal lands to the State of Utah, including analyzing the flow of federal land-based funds to the state of Utah and the state’s 29 counties as well as calculating the economic and fiscal impacts of various oil and gas, coal, and grazing scenarios. Mr. Downen completed the mapping and spatial analysis for the HUD Sustainable Communities Grant. In 2010, he created all visual mapping and produced the Salt Lake City Census 2010 Atlas. His recent Utah Economic and Business Review articles include “Neighborhood Characteristics of TRAX and FrontRunner Stations” (2014, Vol. 74, No. 1), “Mean Centers of Employment and Population on the Wasatch Front” (2012, Vol. 72, No. 3), and “The Economic Impacts of Utah’s International Exports” (2011, Vol. 71, No. 1).

Mr. Downen earned a B.A. in English with a minor in Physics from Georgetown University before earning his M.A. in Economics from Tulane University. Prior to joining the research team at the University of Utah, Mr. Downen held a wide variety of positions in California, Louisiana, and Montana, including technical editor for a large engineering firm, editorial assistant and copy editor for computer magazines, freelance editor, and research associate and publications and program coordinator for a small non-profit organization.

John Downen serves as a senior research analyst, conducting local and regional economic studies and spatial analysis.

Mr. Downen’s recent projects include an analysis of a transfer of federal lands to the State of Utah, including analyzing the flow of federal land-based funds to the state of Utah and the state’s 29 counties as well as calculating the economic and fiscal impacts of various oil and gas, coal, and grazing scenarios. Mr. Downen completed the mapping and spatial analysis for the HUD Sustainable Communities Grant. In 2010, he created all visual mapping and produced the Salt Lake City Census 2010 Atlas. His recent Utah Economic and Business Review articles include “Neighborhood Characteristics of TRAX and FrontRunner Stations” (2014, Vol. 74, No. 1), “Mean Centers of Employment and Population on the Wasatch Front” (2012, Vol. 72, No. 3), and “The Economic Impacts of Utah’s International Exports” (2011, Vol. 71, No. 1).

Mr. Downen earned a B.A. in English with a minor in Physics from Georgetown University before earning his M.A. in Economics from Tulane University. Prior to joining the research team at the University of Utah, Mr. Downen held a wide variety of positions in California, Louisiana, and Montana, including technical editor for a large engineering firm, editorial assistant and copy editor for computer magazines, freelance editor, and research associate and publications and program coordinator for a small non-profit organization.

Ken Embley, M.S.
Senior Research Associate

Ken Embley, M.S.

Senior Research Associate
ken.embley@utah.edu

801-581-7261

Ken Embley is a senior research associate who works with clients to enhance governance in public organizations through assessment, development, education, training and event services. His areas of expertise include the facilitation, consultation, instruction, and administration of leadership, management, and organizational development programs and services.

Mr. Embley’s recent work includes both leadership training and strategic planning/organizational development work. Adaptive Leadership Training is a practical leadership framework that helps individuals and organizations thrive in challenging environments. It differs from traditional leadership frameworks in focusing on how individuals and the collective group can take on the gradual but meaningful process of adaptation. Recently, Mr. Embley provided training to the West Valley Police Department in this innovative leadership framework. Notable recent projects in organizational development include focus group facilitation for employees the Department of Workforce Services, consultation and facilitation for the Utah City Managers’ Association, and ongoing consultation and planning for the Westside Leadership Institute.

Mr. Embley holds bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Business Management and a Master of Science in Human Resource Economics, all from the University of Utah. He is an accredited Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). In addition to the training and services he provides through the university to public employees, Mr. Embley is also an instructor teaching university students in the Honors College, Westside Leadership Institute, and Master of Public Administration program. He is the author of The Road to Community, a how-to workbook for engaging residents, developing neighborhoods, and improving community.

Mr. Embley holds bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Business Management and a Master of Science in Human Resource Economics, all from the University of Utah. He is an accredited Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). In addition to the training and services he provides through the university to public employees, Mr. Embley is also an instructor teaching university students in the Honors College, Westside Leadership Institute, and Master of Public Administration program. He is the author of The Road to Community, a how-to workbook for engaging residents, developing neighborhoods, and improving community.

Emily Harris, M.S.
Demographic Analyst

Emily Harris, M.S.

Demographic Analyst

Emily Harris is a demographic analyst in the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, specializing in quantitative analysis.

Ms. Harris is responsible for developing, manipulating, and analyzing datasets pertinent to population research. More specifically, creating county and statewide post-censal population estimates for the state of Utah by utilizing population, household, and housing unit estimates from the regional and community level.

Ms. Harris earned her B.A. in Sociology from Middle Tennessee State University, and her M.S. in Sociology from Purdue University. Prior to her time at University of Utah, she was a research analyst at the Center for Research on Young People’s Health, and an instructor of Statistics for the Social Sciences at Purdue University.

Emily Harris is a demographic analyst in the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, specializing in quantitative analysis.

Ms. Harris is responsible for developing, manipulating, and analyzing datasets pertinent to population research. More specifically, creating county and statewide post-censal population estimates for the state of Utah by utilizing population, household, and housing unit estimates from the regional and community level.

Ms. Harris earned her B.A. in Sociology from Middle Tennessee State University, and her M.S. in Sociology from Purdue University. Prior to her time at University of Utah, she was a research analyst at the Center for Research on Young People’s Health, and an instructor of Statistics for the Social Sciences at Purdue University.

Alexandria Haslam
Business Scholar

Alexandria Haslam

Business Scholar

Alexandria Haslam is an intern at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, working in conjunction with the David Eccles School of Business as an Eccles ambassador. She assists institute staff in a variety of functional areas, such as publication drafting and event preparation. Her primary focus is on editing published reports.

Ms. Haslam is currently pursuing a B.S. in entrepreneurship at the University of Utah. Beyond her duties as an Eccles ambassador and intern, she is also a content manager, writer, editor and workshops associate for the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute; a copy editor for the Daily Utah Chronicle and Wasatch Magazine; the Phi Beta Lambda vice president for the University of Utah chapter; and the Public Relations Director for PBL at the state level. While part of PBL, she has won state competitions in financial analysis and decision-making, strategic analysis and decision-making, and parliamentary procedure, and had top-five and top-three finishes at the national competition in two separate categories in 2016. She has also served as a student representative on the University of Utah’s Undergraduate Council.

Alexandria Haslam is an intern at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, working in conjunction with the David Eccles School of Business as an Eccles ambassador. She assists institute staff in a variety of functional areas, such as publication drafting and event preparation. Her primary focus is on editing published reports.

Ms. Haslam is currently pursuing a B.S. in entrepreneurship at the University of Utah. Beyond her duties as an Eccles ambassador and intern, she is also a content manager, writer, editor and workshops associate for the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute; a copy editor for the Daily Utah Chronicle and Wasatch Magazine; the Phi Beta Lambda vice president for the University of Utah chapter; and the Public Relations Director for PBL at the state level. While part of PBL, she has won state competitions in financial analysis and decision-making, strategic analysis and decision-making, and parliamentary procedure, and had top-five and top-three finishes at the national competition in two separate categories in 2016. She has also served as a student representative on the University of Utah’s Undergraduate Council.

Michael T. Hogue, M.A.
Senior Research Statistician

Michael T. Hogue, M.A.

Senior Research Statistician

Michael Hogue serves as a senior research statistician, specializing in energy and natural resource economics and applied econometrics.

Mr. Hogue’s recent work includes assisting in the analysis of the transfer of federal lands to the State of Utah, several publications in the Utah Economic and Business Review, the creation of an Economic and Statistical Working Paper Series that has focused on multivariate small-area estimation with shrinkage covariance matrices and two-tiered domain composite estimation modeling. After the University of Utah joined the PAC-12 athletic conference, Mr. Hogue completed an economic impact analysis that examined the financial benefit to the state of Utah.

Mr. Hogue holds a B.A. in both Mathematics and Economics, and a M.A. in Economics from Mississippi State University. He is currently completing his Master’s in Statistics and Ph.D in Economics at the University of Utah. Mr. Hogue also teaches mathematics and statistics as an Instructor for the University of Utah’s Department of Economics.

Mr. Hogue holds a B.A. in both Mathematics and Economics, and a M.A. in Economics from Mississippi State University. He is currently completing his Master’s in Statistics and Ph.D in Economics at the University of Utah. Mr. Hogue also teaches mathematics and statistics as an Instructor for the University of Utah’s Department of Economics.

Mike Hollingshaus, Ph.D.
Demographer

Mike Hollingshaus, Ph.D.

Demographer

Mike Hollingshaus is a demographer  at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. He has primary responsibility for the design, programming, maintenance, and operation of a long range demographic projection modeling system for Utah and its counties.

Dr. Hollingshaus is trained as a sociologist and data modeler. His past work has revolved around population science, with primary interests in demography, statistics, family, social stratification, and epidemiology. He has published in scientific journals such as Biodemography and Social Biology, Social Science and Medicine, and Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Hollingshaus holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Utah, with certificates in Demography and Diversity. He also has an M.S. and B.S. in Sociology from the University of Utah. Prior to joining The Policy Institute, he worked as a graduate research assistant with the Utah Population Database at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and as an instructor of Social Statistics and Epidemiology with the University of Utah.

Mike Hollingshaus is a demographer  at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. He has primary responsibility for the design, programming, maintenance, and operation of a long range demographic projection modeling system for Utah and its counties.

Dr. Hollingshaus is trained as a sociologist and data modeler. His past work has revolved around population science, with primary interests in demography, statistics, family, social stratification, and epidemiology. He has published in scientific journals such as Biodemography and Social Biology, Social Science and Medicine, and Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Hollingshaus holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Utah, with certificates in Demography and Diversity. He also has an MS and BS in Sociology from the University of Utah. Prior to joining The Policy Institute, he worked as a graduate research assistant with the Utah Population Database at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and as an instructor of Social Statistics and Epidemiology with the University of Utah.

Jennifer Leaver, M.A.
Research Analyst

Jennifer Leaver, M.A.

Research Analyst

Jennifer Leaver is a research analyst specializing in local, regional, and statewide tourism research.

Ms. Leaver is currently working on a study with the Utah Office of Tourism. As part of this contract, she writes and updates the “State of Utah’s Tourism, Travel and Recreation Industry” report, which is published annually in the Utah Economic and Business Review. In 2014, she made recommendations to the Office of Tourism regarding updates to existing tourism marketing performance fund legislation. In 2014, Ms. Leaver created 29 Utah county tourism profiles, which are updated annually and made available to county leaders and the general public online. In 2015 she will be producing a research brief focusing on the economic contributions of Utah’s tourism industry to Utah’s urban vs. rural regions.

Ms. Leaver received her B.A. in English from the University of Puget Sound and her M.A. in Applied Anthropology from Oregon State University. Prior to her time at the University of Utah, she spent seven years working as a policy specialist, research consultant, and information analyst for the State of Utah’s Department of Human Services.

Jennifer Leaver is a research analyst specializing in local, regional, and statewide tourism research.

Ms. Leaver is currently working on a study with the Utah Office of Tourism. As part of this contract, she writes and updates the “State of Utah’s Tourism, Travel and Recreation Industry” report, which is published annually in the Utah Economic and Business Review. In 2014, she made recommendations to the Office of Tourism regarding updates to existing tourism marketing performance fund legislation. In 2014, Ms. Leaver created 29 Utah county tourism profiles, which are updated annually and made available to county leaders and the general public online. In 2015 she will be producing a research brief focusing on the economic contributions of Utah’s tourism industry to Utah’s urban vs. rural regions.

Ms. Leaver received her B.A. in English from the University of Puget Sound and her M.A. in Applied Anthropology from Oregon State University. Prior to her time at the University of Utah, she spent seven years working as a policy specialist, research consultant, and information analyst for the State of Utah’s Department of Human Services.

David LeBaron, Ph.D.
Research Associate

David LeBaron, Ph.D.

Research Associate

David LeBaron is a research associate at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. He specializes in statistical analysis and market research and joined the institute in September 2016.

Prior to joining the Gardner Policy Institute, Dr. LeBaron taught marketing research and strategy at Salisbury University in Maryland and the University of Texas San Antonio. He has also worked as a statistical analyst for the Waterford Institute and as a project manager. He is currently an adjunct professor for the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.

Dr. LeBaron received his B.A. in political science from Brigham Young University and earned a Ph.D. in business administration from Pennsylvania State University.  He has published articles in Journal of Consumer Research and Marketing Education Review.

David LeBaron is a research associate at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. He specializes in statistical analysis and market research and joined the institute in September 2016.

Prior to joining the Gardner Policy Institute, Dr. LeBaron taught marketing research and strategy at Salisbury University in Maryland and the University of Texas San Antonio. He has also worked as a statistical analyst for the Waterford Institute and as a project manager. He is currently an adjunct professor for the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.

Dr. LeBaron received his B.A. in political science from Brigham Young University and earned a Ph.D. in business administration from Pennsylvania State University.  He has published articles in Journal of Consumer Research and Marketing Education Review.

Sara McCormick, M.P.A.
Senior Research Associate

Sara McCormick, M.P.A.

Senior Research Associate

Sara McCormick is a senior research associate with a background in facilitation, training, program evaluation, needs assessment, project implementation and management, and data analysis.

Ms. McCormick has served as the principal investigator on a number of research projects, most recently establishing and administering the evaluation component of the six-state ASPIRE project. ASPIRE (Achieving Success by Promoting Readiness for Education and Employment) utilizes experimental design to evaluate the impacts of additional services on the education and employment outcomes of young people who currently receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Ms. McCormick’s role involves overseeing the evaluation team at three universities, designing and implementing a complex custom database for administering and tracking participants, navigating the complexities of IRB approval at multiple locations, and establishing recruitment and case management protocols.

She is the published author of “Supporting Work Effort of SSDI Beneficiaries: Implementation of Benefit Offset Pilot Demonstration” in the Journal of Disability Policy Studies (May 2011) and “The Impact of a Written Benefits Analysis by Utah Benefit Counseling/WIPA program on Vocational Rehabilitation Outcomes” in the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation (2013).

Ms. McCormick earned her B.A. in Economics from the University of California – Davis and her Master of Public Administration at the University of Utah. Prior to her work at the University of Utah, Ms. McCormick gained experience in government, nonprofits, and for-profit entities leading research projects involving focus group design, facilitation, and analysis.

Sara McCormick is a senior research associate with a background in facilitation, training, program evaluation, needs assessment, project implementation and management, and data analysis.

Ms. McCormick has served as the principal investigator on a number of research projects, most recently establishing and administering the evaluation component of the six-state ASPIRE project. ASPIRE (Achieving Success by Promoting Readiness for Education and Employment) utilizes experimental design to evaluate the impacts of additional services on the education and employment outcomes of young people who currently receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Ms. McCormick’s role involves overseeing the evaluation team at three universities, designing and implementing a complex custom database for administering and tracking participants, navigating the complexities of IRB approval at multiple locations, and establishing recruitment and case management protocols.

She is the published author of “Supporting Work Effort of SSDI Beneficiaries: Implementation of Benefit Offset Pilot Demonstration” in the Journal of Disability Policy Studies (May 2011) and “The Impact of a Written Benefits Analysis by Utah Benefit Counseling/WIPA program on Vocational Rehabilitation Outcomes” in the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation (2013).

Ms. McCormick earned her B.A. in Economics from the University of California – Davis and her Master of Public Administration at the University of Utah. Prior to her work at the University of Utah, Ms. McCormick gained experience in government, nonprofits, and for-profit entities leading research projects involving focus group design, facilitation, and analysis.

Levi Pace, Ph.D.
Research Analyst

Levi Pace, Ph.D.

Research Analyst
levi.pace@utah.edu

801-587-9890

Levi Pace is a research analyst, preparing economic analysis for policy studies on defense industry, public land management, wildfire, and endangered species.

Dr. Pace co-authored studies on economic activities in greater sage-grouse range and the transfer of federal lands to the state of Utah. In addition, he has conducted several studies and published on the topics of consumer bankruptcy, higher education funding, household tax incidence, and early childhood education.

Dr. Pace earned a B.A. in History from Alice Lloyd College, his M.B.A. from the University of Kentucky, and his PhD in Economics from the University of Utah. His dissertation was titled “Debtors in consumer bankruptcy: Navigating 2005 bankruptcy reform.” In addition to his research work, Dr. Pace has taught a variety of economics courses at the University of Utah and Westminster College.  He currently teaches in the M.P.P. and M.P.A. programs at the University of Utah.

Dr. Pace earned a BA in History from Alice Lloyd College, his MBA from the University of Kentucky, and his PhD in Economics from the University of Utah. His dissertation was titled “Debtors in consumer bankruptcy: Navigating 2005 bankruptcy reform.” In addition to his research work, Dr. Pace has taught a variety of economics courses at the University of Utah and Westminster College.  He currently teaches in the MPP and MPA programs at the University of Utah.

Samuel Peterson
Business Scholar

Samuel Peterson

Business Scholar

Samuel Peterson is a business scholar at the Kem C. Gardner Institute and serves as a research assistant, aiding staff with various research needs. He is an undergraduate student at the University of Utah.

Mr. Peterson is involved at the Eccles School of Business as an ambassador for the Business Scholar program. Under this responsibility, he works as a student mentor to 11 freshman students and as a recruiter to help educate high school students about the program.

Mr. Peterson is studying history and business at the University of Utah. He intends to pursue a career in teaching and hopes to eventually work in the public sector.

Samuel Peterson is a business scholar at the Kem C. Gardner Institute and serves as a research assistant, aiding staff with various research needs. He is an undergraduate student at the University of Utah.

Mr. Peterson is involved at the Eccles School of Business as an ambassador for the Business Scholar program. Under this responsibility, he works as a student mentor to 11 freshman students and as a recruiter to help educate high school students about the program.

Mr. Peterson is studying history and business at the University of Utah. He intends to pursue a career in teaching and hopes to eventually work in the public sect

Joshua Spolsdoff, B.S.
Graduate Assistant

Joshua Spolsdoff, B.S.

Graduate Assistant

Joshua Spolsdoff is a graduate assistant at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, specializing in fiscal policy analysis and economic impact reporting.

Mr. Spolsdoff is currently responsible for maintaining the Utah economic summary and is a researcher in the Truth and Integrity in Government Finance project for Volcker Alliance. Prior to his role at the Gardner Institute, Mr. Spolsdoff worked as an associate consultant for EMC, where he performed roles in project management, data science, and business intelligence analytics for various S&P 500 firms and the federal government. He earned certificates in data science and ITIL governance methodology.

Mr. Spolsdoff is currently studying for his master’s degree in economics at the University of Utah where he has also earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. His study interests include econometrics, public finance, and health economics.

Joshua Spolsdoff is a graduate assistant at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, specializing in fiscal policy analysis and economic impact reporting.

Mr. Spolsdoff is currently responsible for maintaining the Utah economic summary and is a researcher in the Truth and Integrity in Government Finance project for Volcker Alliance. Prior to his role at the Gardner Institute, Mr. Spolsdoff worked as an associate consultant for EMC, where he performed roles in project management, data science, and business intelligence analytics for various S&P 500 firms and the federal government. He earned certificates in data science and ITIL governance methodology.

Mr. Spolsdoff is currently studying for his master’s degree in economics at the University of Utah where he has also earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. His study interests include econometrics, public finance, and health economics.

Nicholas Thiriot, M.P.P.
Communications Specialist and Research Analyst

Nicholas Thiriot, M.P.P.

Communications Specialist and Research Analyst

Nicholas Thiriot is a communications specialist and research analyst, serving as the principal media contact for The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Mr. Thiriot also assists with a wide variety of research projects related to housing, tourism, economic impact, and coordinating special programs facilitated by the institute.

Mr. Thiriot currently assists in the staffing and development of the Utah Economic Council and the Economic Club of Utah, a forum to share research, data and analysis important to the success of the Utah economy. He is also responsible for contributing to overall website organization, content, design, as well as maintaining content for all social media channels.

Mr. Thiriot earned his B.S. in Political Science and Master of Public Policy, both from the University of Utah. Prior to joining the University of Utah, his previous work experience included special projects with Salt Lake City Corporation’s Division of Housing and Neighborhood Development, the Utah Nonprofits Association, and the Utah Governor’s Office. Additionally, he has done work with national media outlets on a variety of production projects across the country as well as in the United Kingdom and China.

Mr. Thiriot earned his B.S. in Political Science and Master of Public Policy, both from the University of Utah. Prior to joining the University of Utah, his previous work experience included special projects with Salt Lake City Corporation’s Division of Housing and Neighborhood Development, the Utah Nonprofits Association, and the Utah Governor’s Office. Additionally, he has done work with national media outlets on a variety of production projects across the country as well as in the United Kingdom and China.

Effie Johnson Van Noy, B.S.
Utah State Data Center Coordinator

Effie Johnson Van Noy, B.S.

Utah State Data Center Coordinator
effie.johnson@utah.edu

 801-587-9224

Effie Johnson Van Noy is a research analyst and the Utah State Data Center Coordinator. The State Data Center (SDC) Program is one of the Census Bureau’s longest and most successful partnerships. The partnership between Utah and the Census Bureau began in 1982 and was created to make data available locally to the public.

Ms. Van Noy specializes in U.S. Census Bureau data and in helping interested data users navigate the bureau’s website. She is the publications specialist for the DemographyUTAH team. She produces fact sheets, briefs, and reports that cover Utah’s signature and unique demographics.

Ms. Van Noy holds a B.S. in Geography from Utah State University. Her prior work experience includes nine years with the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, where she served as the Utah State Data Center Coordinator and directed the publication of the Economic Report to the Governor, both responsibilities transferred to the University of Utah in 2013.

Effie Johnson Van Noy is a research analyst and the Utah State Data Center Coordinator. The State Data Center (SDC) Program is one of the Census Bureau’s longest and most successful partnerships. The partnership between Utah and the Census Bureau began in 1982 and was created to make data available locally to the public.

Ms. Van Noy specializes in U.S. Census Bureau data and in helping interested data users navigate the bureau’s website. She is the publications specialist for the DemographyUTAH team. She produces fact sheets, briefs, and reports that cover Utah’s signature and unique demographics.

Ms. Van Noy holds a B.S. in Geography from Utah State University. Her prior work experience includes nine years with the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, where she served as the Utah State Data Center Coordinator and directed the publication of the Economic Report to the Governor, both responsibilities transferred to the University of Utah in 2013.

Natalie Young, B.S.
Research Analyst

Natalie Young, B.S.

Research Analyst
natalie.young@utah.edu

 801-587-9436

Natalie Young is a research analyst, specializing in geographic information systems and geography.

Ms. Young collaborated on annual population and housing unit estimates for all census tracts of Salt Lake County for “Salt Lake County Small Area Estimates: 2010-2014”, performing analysis and mapping. She has designed a broad range of interactive maps that highlight census or local data, such as “Life Expectancy at Birth: 2008-2012,” which integrates Utah Department of Health data. Ms. Young created all maps for “Salt Lake City Change Atlas 2000-2010”, displaying small-area trends for 44 demographic and housing topics. She is currently producing small area postcensal population estimates for Utah County.

Ms. Young earned her B.S. in Geography with a GIS emphasis and minor in Media Arts from Brigham Young University. Prior to joining the University of Utah, Ms. Young contributed on GIS projects for two city governments and for private industry.

Natalie Young is a research analyst, specializing in geographic information systems and geography.

Ms. Young collaborated on annual population and housing unit estimates for all census tracts of Salt Lake County for “Salt Lake County Small Area Estimates: 2010-2014”, performing analysis and mapping. She has designed a broad range of interactive maps that highlight census or local data, such as “Life Expectancy at Birth: 2008-2012,” which integrates Utah Department of Health data. Ms. Young created all maps for “Salt Lake City Change Atlas 2000-2010”, displaying small-area trends for 44 demographic and housing topics. She is currently producing small area postcensal population estimates for Utah County.

Ms. Young earned her B.S. in Geography with a GIS emphasis and minor in Media Arts from Brigham Young University. Prior to joining the University of Utah, Ms. Young contributed on GIS projects for two city governments and for private industry.

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